Following my posting on ‘character’ the other day I thought I’d share a new blog by friend/colleague Stephen Parker, who teaches at the Institute for Education at the University of Worcester. Here, Stephen reports on a recent lecture on the tropic of character education and the ‘hidden curriculum’ by Anthony Seldon.

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I recently attended the Raymond Priestly lecture at Birmingham University, this year given by Anthony Seldon, biographer, historian and Master of Wellington College (see here: http://www.jubileecentre.ac.uk/userfiles/jubileecentre/pdf/conference-papers/Priestley%20Lecture%20on%20Character%20Jan%202013%20FINAL%20v2.pdf). His address was a wry polemic against the displacement of a holistic view of education in favour of an instrumentalist, results-oriented, role for schools. Given in the form of a letter to the Michaels (Gove and Wilshaw, Secretary of State for Education and Head of Ofsted respectively), Seldon’s paper directed the attention of ‘the Michaels’ to the folly of their ways in neglected the broader aspects of, what was once called the ‘hidden curriculum’. Seldon provided examples from his own and other schools (including an academy founded an run by Wellington) of how students are given the opportunity to develop themselves beyond the purely academic, particularly focusing on the emotional/psychological (in developing emotional literacy and engaging in leadership training), the spiritual (in moments of…

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